Zechariah 5-8
(God Calling)
September 28th

Produced by The Listening for God Ministry
Copyright 2016

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Please refer to one or more Bible versions of your choice to read this section. We recommend that you read at least two versions for added understanding. For your convenience, we have provided six links below, each of which takes you directly to today's chapters in a specific version:

Key Verse

"Just as when I called out and they did not listen, so they will call out and I will not listen, says the LORD of hosts."

- Zechariah 7:14 (NAB)

Summary of Chapters

These next four chapters continue the book of Zechariah with a series of additional visions followed by a promise of blessing and a statement on the universal longing for God.

Zechariah describes multiple visions in chapter 5. One is of a flying scroll that represents the judgment of the evil people. He also sees a woman in a basket who is taken away by two women with wings. The one in the basket represents the evil ones who will be removed from Jerusalem and returned to Babylon (the rest of the world).

In chapter 6 Zechariah records his vision of four chariots pulled by powerful horses of different colors. The chariots brought the LORD’s spirit to different countries around the world. Then the LORD tells Zechariah to fashion a crown for Joshua, the high priest who will finish the temple and serve there.

Chapter 7 opens with moral instruction from the LORD who explains that the people need to focus more on justice and mercy rather than fasting. The people had been fasting religiously while in exile but were not pure of heart and had refused to listen to the words of the LORD.

    “But they refused to pay attention; stubbornly they turned their backs and covered their ears. They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that the LORD Almighty had sent by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. So the LORD Almighty was very angry."

    “‘When I called, they did not listen; so when they called, I would not listen,’ says the LORD Almighty. ‘I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations, where they were strangers. The land they left behind them was so desolate that no one traveled through it. This is how they made the pleasant land desolate.’”

    - Zechariah 7:11-14 (NIV)

Chapter 8 begins with a promise of future blessings for Jerusalem. It will once again be filled with people of all ages, but the LORD asks for the people to have strong hands so that they will rebuild the temple. He will bring bumper crops and safety, but asks the people to deal with one another honestly. At the end of the chapter, Zechariah shares the prophecy that one day other nations and cities will go to Jerusalem to seek the LORD.

    Thus saith the Lord of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.

    - Zechariah 8:23 (KJV)

Reflection and Application

It is worthy to fast and feast to honor God, but it means nothing if we do not love one another, as noted in 8:4-7. It’s more important that we contribute to an environment of justice and mercy in our part of the world. This same principle can be applied to any ritual in which we participate.

In chapter 7, versus 13-14 the LORD laments that he called and no one listened, so he won’t listen to them. Is the LORD calling us now and we are not listening? If we are filling our minds with all of the activities and thoughts and worries of our lives, then how can we hear him? If we use every spare moment to “connect” with the world to make sure we haven’t missed anything, then how can we connect with God? If we have ear phones on our heads during all of our solitary moments than how we will know when God is ringing us?

Let’s try this for today. Plan our intervals for checking for voice mails, email, text messages, tweets, wall postings, etc. If we feel tempted to check in-between those intervals, use that time to listen for God’s whispering to us. If we are a doctor on call or a customer service professional or a parent anticipating the call of child then we may have to check every message as it arrives. But when we are off-duty, or if we don’t fall into a category where we need to respond immediately to every ring and buzz then we are free to try this experiment. Just for today – listen for him and he will listen to us. If you are looking for something to to say while waiting to hear from God, you might want to quote from the book of Samuel, "Speak, for your servant is listening (1 Samuel 3:10)." For more context see 1 Samuel 3:1-18

When will the prophecy come true about other nations going to Jerusalem to seek the LORD? Is it true now? Over a million people visit it every year, arriving from every continent on earth. The primary reason is for the religious experience, to see, touch, smell the places where the prophets lived and where Jesus walked on land (and water). A visit can enhance our understanding of the Bible and inspire us, but we don’t need to go anywhere to take hold of the hem of Jesus because we know God is with him (Emmanuel). We can hold onto him through study and prayer and by seeking to live the life commanded by God through the stories and prophets of the Old Testament.

Questions and Prayers for Further Reflection

    Related Questions
    1. What is the longest you have gone without food?
    2. How long are we prepared to sit quietly and wait for the LORD during a break in our day?
    3. How often would you like to check in with God today?
    Recommended Prayer
    Father in heaven, we know that you have capacity to hear us and to communicate with us in many ways. Help us to stop, look, and listen for you.

    Suggested Prayer Concerns
    Customer Service Professionals

    Looking Ahead

    Tomorrow's reading: Zechariah 9-14 (Your King Comes on a Donkey)

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